Violence is the question. What’s the answer?
Whether by guns or other means, violence is in our blood. It’s in our legacy of enslavement, domination, and terror. It’s in our treatment of those over whom we presume we have power. It’s in our media, politics, parenting.
It’s not that we’re surprised when the gun turns back on ourselves, because violence is a deep-rooted national wound. Still it horrifies us and rends the fabric of our well being. We are steeped and steeped again in profound sorrow.
Love is the answer. Love and nature. The child who grows up with at least one loving parent and access to the wild outdoors is likely to exhibit values of caring, community, and empathy. From “Ecopsychology,” in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopsychology#cite_note-7):
“Nature heals” is one of the oldest therapeutic dicta. Ecopsychologists are finding new ways to apply that ancient insight. Over a century ago, Emerson lamented that “few adult persons can see nature.” If they could, they would know that “in the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, no disgrace or calamity . . . which nature cannot repair.”
Authors to read on the healing power of nature: E.O. Wilson, Richard Louv, Theordore Roszak. And Ed Abbey, Terry Tempest Williams, Ellen Meloy, Gretel Ehrlich. There is more work to do than simply going to the woods to heal. But it’s a start, and it’s one every child needs to know.